Bushfire smoke disrupts Australian Open build-up

  • Wednesday 15, January 2020 09:01 AM
Sharjah24 – AFP: Bushfire smoke disrupted the Australian Open build-up Wednesday for a second straight day, with qualifying rounds delayed following a barrage of complaints about safety from international tennis players.
The toxic haze that has descended on Melbourne, where the year's first Grand Slam is due to begin next week, has drifted down from out-of-control blazes that have endured for months in eastern and southern Australia.

The bushfires, unprecedented in their duration and intensity, have claimed 28 lives while raising awareness about the type of disasters that scientists say the world will face due to global warming.

Australian Open organisers pushed ahead with qualifying rounds on Tuesday.

But dramatic scenes of players dropping to their knees and choking, and one retiring due to the smoke, led to complaints about them being forced to stay out on court.